From a Rubio Long Snapping Parent…..

A long time Rubio Long Snapping parent asked me if they could write a blog for everyone to read. Here it is….

I have wanted to write about our experience with Rubio Long Snapping for years because there are things that I wish someone had pointed out/told me when we were first getting started.

Our son is a Rubio Long Snapper. He isn’t just a long snapper he is a Rubio Long Snapper and he is now playing Divison 1 college football on full scholarship.

From the time our son was in 1st grade he had 3 goals:

  1. He wanted to make the Varsity Football Team at his high school as a sophomore – we are a 6A school so making Varsity as a sophomore is a big deal. (He achieved this goal)
  2. He wanted to play Division 1 college football (He achieved this goal)
  3. He wanted a full scholarship (He achieved this goal)
  4. He wanted to play in the NFL (He is working toward this goal)

We have always encouraged his passion for the game and sent him to all different types of camps – full contact as well as skills and we have had him in sports performance training since 4th grade.

He started long snapping in 7th grade. His head football coach asked anyone who thought they could snap a ball to try out for the position and he won it. While we “knew” that he snapped the ball for punts, extra points and field goals, we really didn’t have any idea it was an actual “position” so to speak. We thought it was just “something extra” he did in addition to playing Linebacker and Fullback.

The summer before his freshman year in high school he came and asked us to go to a long snapping camp and my husband and I were like – a what??? What in the heck is that? We were in the process of signing him up with a college recruiting service and I asked the representative if he knew of any long snapping camps and he recommended Rubio. The college recruiting service cost us a lot of money and didn’t end up doing anything for us in terms of recruiting BUT it will forever be worth the money because of their recommendation of Rubio Long Snapping.

I got on the computer and found out that Rubio was doing fall camps in various locations but the one closest to us was already set up. I emailed Rubio and was able to get our son on the waiting list and – eventually – into the camp.

This camp was our first exposure to the ins and outs of long snapping and to Rubio. While at the camp, my husband saw another father there that he knew. The father

wanted to share all of his knowledge with us and informed us that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to doing only Rubio camps – we should do ALL of the different ranking camps and get our son out there so he could have as much exposure as possible. Basically he was saying not to put all of our eggs in one basket. We listened politely to everything he said but at the end of the camp I told my husband that I didn’t agree – that I really liked this Rubio guy and how he ran his camp and our son seemed to respond to him and that was that. We never looked back and never put him anywhere else and have never been sorry about that. Interestingly enough, this other long snapper never ended up playing college ball and his father approached my husband here in town after our son received his scholarship to tell us how wrong he had been and if he had it to do over again, he would’ve stuck with Rubio like we did. He spent so much time running from one camp to the other that his son never had any consistency in terms of critique or what he needed to do to be the best that he could be.

SO WHY NOT PUT YOUR KID AT ALL THE DIFFERENT RANKING CAMPS?

Well, there are several reasons for this in my opinion. First, they are extensions of Kicking Camps – not really long snapping camps per se and it is not always the same person doing the evaluations and/or rankings so there is no consistency in what your son is being told to do and/or work on to improve.

Over the years, I can’t even count how many times our son has been approached to train with these other companies or attend their “invite only” camps. They have stalked him on social media, private messages and at different college camps he was attending that they happened to be running. The invited him to their regional camps and their “invitation only” camps (which is pretty much anyone that will pay for it). What they REALLY wanted to do was recruit a Rubio Long Snapper. They will pretty much tell you anything/everything you want to hear to get you to go to their camps but they really don’t do anything for you and your son in the long run – oh yeah – big talk and all but very little contacts and actions. If you look across the board in college football – the vast majority of long snappers come out of Rubio Long Snapping. I’m not telling you that there aren’t some from other companies but – overall – the college coaches trust and rely on Rubio and his evaluations. It doesn’t really matter if you are the #4 ranked long snapper in your class on their site if they are only ranking 30 kids. What, exactly, does that tell a college coach? That you invested your time and money with a company that doesn’t see enough long snappers to truly be an expert in the art form that really is long snapping.

I’ve seen kids go with other companies in addition to Rubio and think that they are somehow going to be chosen for a bowl game that way. That.Isn’t.Going.To.Happen. Let me repeat that – That.Isn’t.Going.To.Happen. Look back through their choices over the years and you can bet that their choices are never kids that train elsewhere. They TELL you that your kid is amazing and has a shot at it just to get your money and have your kid at that camp. Rubio now chooses snappers for 2 different bowl games and that isn’t an accident – he really is the foremost authority on long snappers.

If a “coach” from another long snapping company only tells you and your son how amazing he is and how much this company could do with/for them, they are likely blowing smoke up his (and your) butt. The truth is that every long snapper has things that can be improved. Our son continues to train with Rubio privately once a year and with Finch as many times as we can manage it when he is home for any period of time and he attends the college camp. And guess what? There are still things Rubio has him working on in order to go to the next level – the NFL.

Regardless of which college team is your favorite I don’t think that there is any doubt in anyones mind that Nick Saban is one of the best coaches in college football history. There is a reason that he only uses Rubio Long Snappers – think about that!

RANKINGS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

This is a tricky one and I will be the first to admit that I didn’t (and still don’t) always agree with Rubio in whoever was ranked above my kid. Now, I didn’t question the STAR rankings of the kids involved, but if there were several kids with the same number of stars – I didn’t always think that the person/people he ranked above my son were better than him. Sometimes I did agree and sometimes I didn’t but what I always DID agree with is whatever he critiqued our son on needing to work on so that is where we put our focus. Concentrating on that is what made our son the long snapper he is today.

If you and your kid don’t like where he is ranked, work on what Rubio says he needs to work on and improve that and then the next time Rubio sees him he will likely move up in the rankings because he fixed, or at the very least improved, that situation.

Or you can go coach shopping and find another company to tell you what you want to hear because they want your money. If they are telling you how awesome you are when Rubio is telling you what you need to work on then I would question their knowledge level. The way I look at it is this – wouldn’t it be “easier” for Rubio to just tell every kid how amazing he is and then write that up after every camp? He doesn’t do

that – he actually pays attention to the kid AT the camp and then goes back and watches their film and gives you detailed information – and he balances that – giving positive affirmations as well as things that need to improve. Ask yourself which “review” a college coach is going to trust – one that only tells you how amazing this kid is or one that is honest and straightforward? I personally prefer to hear the bottom line truth and so does our son. What about you?

AND ANOTHER THING ABOUT RANKINGS

I’ve heard a lot of people complain that their kid should be ranked higher or have more stars when their kid hasn’t been at camps. They complain that Rubio only wants them at the camps so that he can make more money. Two things here:

  1. Rubio can only rank the kid if he SEES the kid. So even if you think your kid is better than John X right now, if your kid isn’t at the camp and John X is and John X is better NOW than the last time Rubio saw your kid then John X is going to jump your kid in the rankings because he can only compare John X NOW to your kid the last time he saw him. This isn’t Rubio moving your kid down in the rankings at all – it is about another kids improvement since the last time he saw him and since he hasn’t seen your kid since then…..well you see how that is?
  2. This is Rubio’s business – his livelihood, his way to support his family so absolutely there is a financial aspect to him doing this. But – I have never been involved with an organization where the owner gives so much back to the kids. If you or your kid texts Rubio, he answers, if you comment on one of his posts on social media – he answers. He is encouraging and funny and supportive of everyone that is part of the Rubio Family – parents and kids and he doesn’t charge a dime for any of that “extra” support. My son started as a true college freshman and his first game was an away game and it was supposed to rain. Although my son was confident in his abilities he was a bit nervous and got in touch with Rubio and guess what Rubio did? He answered him right away and took the time to talk him through everything that needed to happen for our son to be successful. He set him at ease and helped him get out of his head in that minute when it truly mattered. I don’t know any other “long snapping” companies that are that accessible in that way and would’ve taken that time – after business hours – to do that. Do you?

    RUBIO FAMILY

Our particular high school class of long snappers was an exceptionally close class and I have heard people from other classes complain that they don’t have that bond that we

had – parents and kids. ANY class can have that bond but you have to have one or more families who are invested in making things happen – lunch together during camps, dinners together after camps staying the same hotel in Vegas and regional camps, etc. Guess what that means? Someone has to step up to the plate and coordinate it all – meaning do the research and keep in contact with everyone. If no one does that then it doesn’t happen.

The other thing I noticed is that all the families in our class were supportive of ALL the boys. There wasn’t any competition EXCEPT on the field. These kids have had a group chat going since they were Event Elite together summer before their Junior Year in high school and Top 12 the summer before their Senior Year and they are going into their (academic) Junior Year in college now and still chatting via group text. If someone was going to turn down an offer, they told the others in their group chat so that the rest of them could reach out to the coach if they were interested in playing for that college. No one “hoarded” that information – they shared contact information for coaches so that they could all achieve their dreams. They were all doing exactly what Rubio taught them to do – building each other up rather than tearing each other down.

Whenever I’ve seen issues between kids in the same class (not friendly competition), you can bet that some adults is egging that on and so if you stop any of that, then you can all have the same closeness up and down the rankings that we had. I can honestly tell you that out of the 5 Start Snappers in our class any one of them could’ve been #1 in the class on any given day. And, out of the parents in our class – we are still close to many of them and keep in touch and keep rooting for each others kids.

Rubio actively encourages these kids to not only be great long snappers but also to be great human beings.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

If your son genuinely wants to play college football don’t be laser focused on whether it is a scholarship or a PWO. I mean, I get it – they all want a full ride but there are still some schools that simply will not bring in a long snapper on scholarship as a true freshman. Don’t make your son feel like a failure that he “only” received PWOs. Long Snapping isn’t like playing QB or RB where the school is going to take at least one player in that position every single year. If they don’t need a long snapper, it doesn’t matter how good your kid is – they aren’t going to take them.

We constantly told our son that he could play where HE wanted to play whether it was a PWO or scholly (and he multiple offers of each type). Ultimately he chose a school

that offered him a full ride but – for him – it was more about the actual University then it was about anything else.

CONTINUED TRAINING

This is a mistake I’ve seen families make. Our son got the offer so we are done with training. The difference between high school football and college football is the difference between driving on the Interstates here in the US and driving on the autobahn in Germany and you want your son to keep honing his skills for his entire college – and NFL – career.

We highly recommend starting private lessons with Rubio in high school and continuing these at least yearly – through college and beyond. Also, be sure you have your kid training at least sometimes during the year with a RUBIO instructor (Samantha can tell you where the closest RUBIO instructor is to you) and if you aren’t near one then go with Virtual Lessons. We started private lessons with Finch as soon as we started with Rubio and that made a huge difference. We didn’t have the option of virtual lessons at that time so we drove quite a distance on a regular basis so that our son could improve. With the option of virtual lessons, the sky is truly the limit in terms of improvement.

The one “regret” that I have is that we didn’t start private lessons with Rubio in Idaho sooner than we did. It is definitely an investment but having Rubio completely and utterly focused on your son for a period of time truly is priceless and every time we have gone up there it has taken our son to the next level. So, as soon as you can afford that – do it – you won’t regret it.

We also recommend attending January and May Vegas if at all possible. It gives your son invaluable experience.

THOUGHTS TO TAKE AWAY

To sum all of this up, our son worked very hard and daily to achieve his goal of playing college football and continues to work his butt off to be the best that he can be but none of this would’ve been possible without Rubio.

Rubio wasn’t easy on him. He set goals for him that were sometimes difficult for our son to achieve but he worked as hard as he did because Rubio expected it of him and challenged him to never settle for less. People rise to the level of expectation that are

placed upon them and we believe that Rubio set him up for success by expecting these things from him.

So I will end this the way I started it…..Our son is a Rubio Long Snapper. He isn’t just a long snapper, he is a Rubio Long Snapper and we are very proud of that distinction.

Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Rubio has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the USA Today, Deadspin and countless other publications.

Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world, Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 14 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 1,000 Long Snappers earning full scholarships and preferred walk-on opportunities to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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The Parent of a Long Snapper

At first, you were confused. You definitely were no expert on football but you did know the basics. And, within those basics, you knew that no one actually wanted to be a long snapper. So, when your 8th grade son came up to you and said he might want to go to a long snapping camp, you were baffled. You were going to be the parent of a long snapper?

You remember the moment like it was yesterday. Your son, who was always a decent athlete, guided you through the website (yes, an actually site devoted to long snapping) as though he had studied it for hours. He knew all the Ins and Outs of the site, he was trying to “hook” you into registering him. You appeased your sons zeal. You still weren’t sure on the whole process until Bruce came over. Bruce was your son’s best friend. They had been friends ever since they had the same kindergarten teacher. Your son was the good athlete who was very intelligent while Bruce was a very good soccer player that had more looks than common sense. Wits aside, Bruce was a great kid that always landed on his feet (and used them). Anyway, he came over (during the long snapping propaganda ceremony that your son was putting on) and chimed in.

Bruce was actually going to the same camp but as a kicker. Your son and Bruce were both headed off to high school and already had planned how to stay united. Since the local high school’s soccer team was, to put it nicely, sub par, Bruce decided to forgo soccer and just become a kicker for the football team. Bruce would be the kicker and your son would the snapper. It was perfect. They were inseparable off the field and now would be the same on the field as well. You were going to be a parent of a long snapper?

You caved after hours of persistence from your son and Bruce (actually like ten minutes). You sent your soon to be high schooler off with Bruce to the camp. Bruce went to his side of the field, your son went to his. Bruce learned how to kick, your son learned how to snap. You were becoming a parent of a long snapper?

This went on for years. Camp after camp. To say the process was smooth is not accurate. The first year, the coach couldn’t care less about your son and his “position” on the team. For Bruce, it was not much better. Freshman teams aren’t really a juggernaut on offense so there was little opportunities for the two boys to shine. That, and the fact that your boy was, average at best with his snapping, made life a bit tough during snapping season (which is year round).

Sophomore year was big for the boys…well, a boy. Bruce really grew with his kicking and physically. Puberty high-fived him and guided him into the weight room where he put on about twenty pounds of muscle that he used simply for kicking. He was becoming a monster on campus and on the field. Even though, he was “only” a kicker, he was still regarded as “that guy” on the team. Bruce, only a sophomore, was already starting to dominate the kicking camps. Life was good, no great, for him.

For your son, things were more challenging. Puberty eluded him at first. A tad thin, gawky even, your boy simply couldn’t put on weight. Muscle was not even close to hitting his frame. You would have been happy with even some fat. Nothing would stick to his bones. Frustrating was an understatement. The one thing kept your son going: his snapping. He kept at the camps, he worked on his form, he loved the camaraderie. He was part of a group…almost a gang. You met parents. You didn’t mind the camps. It was becoming fun for you as well. You were becoming a parent of a long snapper?

Junior year flew by and so did the notion of your son being thin. He filled out very well and looked like an athlete. Camps became more frequent and social media allowed you to stay connected to other parents of long snappers. You even became very good friends with Bruce’s parents. It was hard not to since the boys were always together and you had a common denominator to discuss. Bruce’s recruiting took off, he flourished at the kicking camps and was even offered a couple scholarships to major universities. All the while, your son snapped the ball to “the star.” Bruce was the stud kicker and your son was “the kid who snapped it to Bruce.”

As popular as Bruce became at school, on the recruiting sites and on blogs, he never forgot your son and how “his” key plays during the game, start. Bruce knew were the play started. Your son and Bruce practiced non-stop throughout the year. Your son snapped the footballs, a random would hold and Bruce would kick it long and far. Day in and day out, week in and week out, camp after camp, Bruce and your son were a team. You were the parent of a long snapper.

Senior year comes along and wouldn’t you know it, your son’s football team was doing well, very well. Games were like parties, everyone knew about Bruce and you were part of the whitewash. The crowd cheered for every kick like it was a game winner. No matter if it was a P.A.T. or a 50 harder, the other parents roared congratulations to Bruce’s parents after each and every time Bruce was on the field. You sat right next to them and congratulated them just as everyone else did. And, after every kick, which, of course meant a great snap from your son, Bruce’s parents, almost in unison, would look your way and simply mouth the words “thank you.” They never said it out loud but you knew they meant it from the bottom of the hearts. They knew their son’s success was directly correlated to all the time Bruce and your son spent together at camps, on the field and watching games on TV. There was no kick made without a snap. You were the parent of a long snapper.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the team made the championship game. Everyone was excited, BEYOND excited. The kids, school, the town were overflowing with excitement. Everyone wanted to see a perfect game. Unfortunately, Mother Nature couldn’t care less. The early December game meant chance for rain and that seemed to be simply what would happen on that Saturday night.

Your son and Bruce took some extra practice that week. You and Bruce’s father went with them. You both created as many wild scenarios as possible. Nothing would surprise them. By Wednesday, when the weather report made it clear that rain would be a legit possibility, you even brought a gallon of water to saturate the footballs so your son could simulate a wet snap. Your son was not a fan of this drill and never really could manage to create his perfect snap. You were definitely the parent of a Long Snapper.

Game night and the weather was cooperating, thus far. It was cold, very cold, but no rain at all. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth is how the score went all game long. The teams were very evenly matched. You were a quiet fan but even found yourself cheering out loud at several points in the game.

The game came down to the final five minutes and wouldn’t you know it, the sky decided to open up and cleanse the players. When the first drop hit your jacket, your heart sunk fifty miles and you couldn’t breathe. On cue, your son looked up at you and you could see him swallow and look at you with his big, brown eyes. His look seemed to say “Not this, anything but this. Please dad, make the rain stop.” Your eyes welled up, emotions grabbed you, there was nothing you could do expect yell to him, “You got this!” You are the parent of a Long Snapper.

The rain came down in buckets. It seemed to increase by the minute. The game become sloppy. No one had any footing, no one could run, no one could throw, it was becoming ugly. Somehow, the football gods blessed your son’s team and allowed them a big run off the right tackle. The running back burst off the end and was gone for a 60 yard pickup. He eventually was brought down on the opposing teams ten yard line. Everyone was so excited, they barely realized the clock was almost out. There were three-seconds left. There was time for one play from the ten yard line.

The coach was not an ignorant man. He motioned for Bruce. You saw it, Bruce’s parents saw it. You looked at each other. Emotions overflowing. You all nodded at the same time with the look of “here we go.” Your boy looked at you, you heart was pounding, The rain was pouring and that only added to the wetness coming from your eyes. You tried to remain strong for your son’s sake. It was almost too much.

All the years of training, all the hours, all the camps, should make this moment easy for your son and Bruce. Your son set up on the ball, the overly saturated ball, he wiggled his fingers. Youknew his routine, You were the parent of a Long Snapper.

The snap came out quickly, it was not a tight spiral. You gulped. Your worst nightmare. Time stopped. The ball rotated. The ball flew over the holder’s outstretched arms. You almost vomited. You felt a thousand eyes look at you. You tried to stay focused on your son. You didn’t look anyone in the eyes. You felt as though were spiraling into an abyss. Your son just had a bad snap.

Trying to avoid every fan’s eyes, you finally caught a glimpse of your son and ou noticed a yellow flag on the field. You hoped, you prayed, for it to be on the other team. It was! It turns out the nose guard illegally hit your son just before the snap and that is what caused the wayward snap. You looked around and noticed no one was looking at you now. Bruce’s parents patted you on the back. You got closer to them. You and them, just like Bruce and your son, were a team.

The game winning kick cleared the field goal posts easily. Your son’s snap was perfect. It was just like the countless other snaps you had seen him execute at camps, in the garage, on the front drive way, in the backyard, on the field, in street and on the field. You are the parent of a Long Snapper.

The crowd swarmed Bruce’s parents in the crowd and as they made their way onto the field. It was mass of humanity and it converged on the hero of the game, Bruce. Hundreds of people chanted his name, they lifted him up, he won the game. He made the game winning kick. He won the championship. He did it all.

You avoided the masses and went to the spot on the field where your son snapped the ball. He was there, waiting for you. You hugged him as hard as anyone as ever held someone they loved and were proud of. As you opened your eyes filled with tears, you caught Bruce’s parents looking at you. They were just twenty yards away but it might as well have been twenty miles. You were with your son, the Long Snapper, isolated from everyone and they were with their son, the kicker, the hero of the game, being mobbed by hundreds. Twenty yards away, your eyes met and you clearly saw Bruce’s parent’s, who clearly understood the process, mouth the words to you, “Thank you!”

You ARE the parent of the Long Snapper.

Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Rubio has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the USA Today, Deadspin and countless other publications.

Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world, Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 14 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 1,000 Long Snappers earning full scholarships and preferred walk-on opportunities to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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